How to stay safe on line: A short guide

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s a young girl,  I worked in the make up departments of the posh department stores in Knightsbridge and on Oxford Street.  On a good few occasions, I worked on what was referred to as the carousel, where the cheaper brands were stocked, and they were usually at the back of the store.  Now what  I found interesting was that in my young mind, I noticed that the calibre of the people I was serving were people I expected would be purchasing the more luxury brand of make up, that was at the front to the store, they were Lady this and Lady that, or Duchess so and so. I was interested in their titles, and curious about them because they looked so interesting,  my curiosity as to why they were purchasing there  as opposed to the front of the store was only fleeting.. Like I said I was young! Now fast forward a few good years, where I am now less naive, it occurs  to me, that  brand loyalty aside, they probably not people given to being unnecessarily frivolous. It was a bit of a revelation, in that the best way to maintain some sort of wealth was more to do with hanging on to what you have.

One of the best ways of improving your pension fund then, is by looking after the money you already have and that means  definitely living within your means but also making sure that if you are transacting on line then you must stay safe their.  There are a lot of scammers and what we Nigerians refer to as 419ers out there, who are only looking to take all of your money for their own purpose, and there is a big threat of that online. It is therefore important that you understand the best way to act on line and there are a couple of basic things that you can be aware of and act on without having a masters degree in computer science.

So what I want to highlight a couple of things that you should take into consideration when you are operating on line:


Your web browser is a programme on your computer that allows you to visit websites you may have noticed or not, that some websites start with http and others start with https. Its quite important that you k now the difference between them, as they are key to your security online, ( not the only aspect, but important nonetheless.).   The address you type in your browser, tells the computer where to visit and the nature of the address gives the protocol of   how the computer is  to interact with the website  or application.

Its not too important for you to know that HTTP stands  for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, but what is important is to understand the the version without the s is not secure, its open and the connection means that data transmitted over this format, for example when you fill in a form, can be intercepted by 3rd parties and even tampered with as it is transmitted in plain text..  There are a lot of computer interactions that may involve 3rd parties and they are not always harmful.

When the website  begins with HTTPS, then the website is using a secure connection,  and the data is encrypted, so that attackers or unauthorised 3rd parties cannot get to the information you may be transmitting.  Therefore if you are doing online transactions involving sensitive information, e.g credit card details , important bio data make sure that the website is the correct one you think it is and that its using a secure connection.  The diagram below tells you  what  look for:




If the site address does not begin with HTTPS: like in the picture above, do not enter any important information.


Payment Services 

One sure fire way of not getting scammed on line is to not go on line right? Well that is not a strategy that is very useful, but you can minimise the impact by using an on line payment service like PayPal.  Now for me, that is the best option rather than entering your credit card details on many many different sites..  This is how it works in a nutshell.

  1. You set up an account using a an email address and / mobile telephone number.
  2. You associate your account to your bank account/ debit card.
  3. You are verified, its all done over encrypted network in different stages., your mobile is verified, by sending a text message code, which you have to enter on the website  when prompted.
  4. They pay tiny amounts of money into your account using a special reference number which you have to report back to them.
  5. you set up account recovery options and the whole thing is all really secure.
  6. When you are shopping on line, when they accept paypal, you are directed there, and you sign into your account to authorise payment, and you don’t have to repeat the entering of your payment card again.

Paypal offers other services too, they now have a mobile app, which you can use to send and received money from people within your contact list, if you use i for business you can also use it to send invoices was well as take payment.  Its a very clever idea, but it not the only one. A couple of other online payment services are

Amazon: how that works is you already have your debit card or payment method stored securely in your Amazon account. If the site you are shopping on accepts amazon payments, you use your amazon account to pay for the goods. Of course you can stop and buy a book or two should you so desire.

Google Wallet, formerly known as Google Checkout. It is straightforward and easy to use, and has quick transfers to and from  your bank account. You can also use it process credit card payments.

There is a whole plethora of others, which I will not really go into,  I just wanted to point out that there are alternative ways of paying for goods and services, and indeed collecting money for goods and services that you may  supply to simply putting your credit cards into various websites.

I hope that you have found this useful, if you have i would love to hear from you.  please put your comments in thee box below. whatever you do, stay safe and a have a fabulous day.

Nike A

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4 Replies to “How to stay safe on line: A short guide”

  1. Thank you for giving me such valid information.I have been searching information about how to improve your pension fund.Now you sutisfied me with your enough information where by i got the right information fo me.This article is more conducive and i love the content.Keep it up for your good information


  2. With such a high number of people online these days, it means there are gonna be a lot of scam pits to avoid. Especially when it comes to protecting your personal identity, bank details and pension fund.

    I appreciate the help with protecting my pension, and I didn’t even realize there was a HTTPS because rarely look at the URL in my web browser address bar. But I’m glad to know what the “S” stands for now, when I’m surfing the web.

    I also use PayPal and I can honestly say that it’s been the most safest payment services I’ve ever used. I can’t highly recommend it enough to people who want to avoid getting hacked.


    • Hi Neil, thanks a lot, its true, sometimes we can be really excited online and we forget tot take that couple of minutes it takes to make sure we are where we think we are.

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